Cyclists riding 282 miles in memory of murdered MP pass through Banbury

Some of the riders taking on the Jo Cox Way cycle challenge from Yorkshire to London on the Oxfordshire leg on the fourth day NNL-180731-153012001
Some of the riders taking on the Jo Cox Way cycle challenge from Yorkshire to London on the Oxfordshire leg on the fourth day NNL-180731-153012001

A team of cyclists were given a warm reception as they stopped in Banbury on their 282-mile ride from Yorkshire to London in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.

The Jo Cox Way riders made their way from Leicestershire to Banbury on Friday at the end of the third day out of five, before setting off for Uxbridge on Saturday.

Cyclists set off in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, for the Jo Cox Way challenge NNL-180731-165125001

Cyclists set off in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, for the Jo Cox Way challenge NNL-180731-165125001

Jo’s sister Kim Leadbeater took part in the challenge for the first time in its third year, which aims to highlight the resilience of communities that have been struck by acts of terror and raise money for charity, so far more than £2,200.

Kim said: “The ride was incredibly tough, with intense heat and those Chiltern Hills, which gave us some challenging climbs.

“But we made it and the shared experience really brought us all together and highlighted what the #MoreInCommon movement is all about.

“We worked together for a common goal, built friendships and raised awareness of the fantastic, strong communities that rally and refuse to give up – even when they are struck by terrible tragedy.

“The people who took part – and those who supported us – have all helped to make a big difference.”

Fifty cyclists set off from Cleckheaton in Jo’s former Batley and Spen constituency in Yorkshire on Wednesday, July 25, and a small crowd greeted the riders in Banbury.

A couple of people joined the challengers the next morning to ride on to Uxbridge before finishing in Bankside on Sunday – one was a cyclist from Cropredy who was on his way to another big ride leaving London that night.

Deborah Hayward, who took part in the ride from start to finish, said: “It was a really hot sunny day and we were really pleased to arrive in the town where we could finally get a drink and park our bikes for the night. We were also really excited to see the Banbury Cross.

“While it is fantastic to raise money, the essence of the event is very much to promote awareness of community.

“As we cycled along the lanes around Banbury, we met other groups of cyclists who were really interested to hear what we were doing.

“They asked lots of questions and some expressed a great deal of interest in joining us again next year.”

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